tv Dateline NBC NBC May 14, 2012 2:00am-3:00am PDT
he had deeper feelings for me than just friends. he managed to get me to care about him. he had my whole life wrapped up. >> reporter: she's on the stand and at the center of a riveting courtroom drama. the wife whose entrepreneur husband was found murdered one cold autumn morning. >> our whole family has lost its brightest light and we don't know why. >> reporter: he's the one accused of the crime. so why is she under the microscope? >> she's gotten caught in the middle of this cross fire, and
it's really unfortunate. it goes against everything i know about andrea. >> reporter: was she cheating with her executive boss? >> be with me forever. would that be normal communication between your boss and you? >> reporter: scheming widow or suffering victim. >> there was no affair. >> reporter: "over the edge." thanks for joining us. i'm lester holt. he dreamed of being the next steve jobs, a rising young euro entrepreneur who wanted to change the world, but his world came to a heart-breaking end one morning with four gunshots. at first no one knew what to make of this case. but now a jury has made it clear. this was a crime of passion, a fatal triangle involving a husband, a wife and a boss. here's dennis murphy. >> reporter: broad daylight, morning in a busy parking lot.
then pop, pop, pop, pop. >> several shots were fired. >> reporter: a man gunned down at close range outside a nursery school in a wealthy atlanta suburb. a silver minivan screeched from the lot. startled eyewitnesses saw him slumped to the ground. parents recognized the man who had just been shot as a man who dropped off his two-year-old son. a preschool, of all place, had become a crime scene. >> we are told all the children are completely safe. >> reporter: the shooting victim rushed to the hospital turned out to be 36-year-old rusty sneiderman, a married father of two. >> i just hung my head and cried. >> reporter: rusty's older brother steve was on a plane to hawaii when he got the shocking news. rusty was dead. >> you walk around on the plane, pacing around the aisles, and i went to the bathroom and i looked at the door and i thought about jumping. >> reporter: he was desperate to
get home to his family, desperate to find out what had happened to his little brother. >> my brother was murdered. no one should have to face that. >> reporter: he appeared at a police press conference after the shooting to talk about the family's incomparable loss. >> our whole family has lost its brightest light, and we don't know why. >> reporter: that was the question. why rusty? his friend laura hester. >> reporter: did any of it make sense? were you able to come up with a theory of what happened there? >> no. this was a man that was so beloved by so many people. >> reporter: jeffrey moss lived across the hall from rusty in college. >> always had a giant smile on his face no matter the situation, always willing to help. used to end every conversation with how can i help you? what can i do for you? >> reporter: in the tight-knit jewish community where rusty lived and was raising his family, a man like him is called
a menge. he was a stand-up guy. now that supportive community gathered around his wife of ten years, andrea. >> reporter: she seemed to be a good fit for him. >> absolutely. they had been together since college. he always spoke about her with affection and respect. >> reporter: the couple moved to dunwoody, a suburb in atlanta. after he accepted a job. >> they had a boat, they had two great kids. they were living the dream. >> reporter: a dream that was violently shattered that morning in the parking lot. the virtual execution of a young husband and father was in no one's frame of reference. the irrationality of the violence making it all the more terrifying. local attorney esther panage. >> it put a lot of fear into the whole community. >> reporter: the thought, was it a hate crime? was the shooter targeting jews?
he had once handled major amounts of money for some high net worth individuals. had an estimate portfolio gone horribly wrong? >> here's a guy dealing with serious amounts of money. >> right, the initial thought was it was a professional hit by somebody who had lost a lot of money. >> reporter: and if so, was it someone that dunwoody's circle knew very well, maybe even a mourner circulating at the memorial service for rusty, sharing his condolences with the widow? josh, an old college roommate, wondered just that. >> i remember looking around, and i remember thinking to myself the killer could be there. >> reporter: you had that thought? >> yeah. >> reporter: what made rusty such a successful businessman, his vast network of friends and associates he was happy to put together in deals made it all the more difficult for homicide detectives to single out that one person who could have such rage about rusty sneiderman. he knew a lot of people. >> he was an excellent
networker. he was constantly expanding his business and personal goals. >> reporter: but detectives caught a break. some of the witnesses were able to give the cops a description of the killer and his vehicle. >> it is a possible white male with a beard. he's about 5'10", 5'11", in his 30s. >> reporter: the police department was able to render this drawing, a beard, two piercing eyes. the witnesses remembered those definitely. who was the man in the sketch? >> reporter: when we come back, the hunt begins with one giant clue: the getaway car caught on tape. are police close to catching the killer, too? >> i'm telling you, you were there when rusty got shot. orheepr: wn "over the edge" continues. four kids, it can just be too expensive. yeah, so to save money we just made our own. oh no! what could be worse than ninety-foot swells?!
the shooter was no more than a police artist rendering, no details filled in. but his victim was quite different. there was a very complete picture of 36-year-old rusty sneiderman. the loving husband, father, brother and son, who had grown up outside cleveland. his mother and father, marilyn and don. in your happiest memory, what do you see rusty doing? >> smiling and making you happy and laugh. he was wonderful to be around. >> he was a good kid. he really was. >> reporter: but behind that wide grin and nice guy demeanor was a determined and ambitious businessman. >> he always had another idea that was bigger and better.
>> reporter: rusty had spent time in the corporate world, but now he was itching to go the steve jobs route. rusty's wife andrea, more than anyone, understood, and she backed rusty to the hilt when he wanted to focus on a start-up. >> they were really partners in every way, shape and form, whether it was in life, whether it was through business ventures. i think they both were able to treat each other in a way that made each other better. >> reporter: and their marriage had seemed solid to people who had known them, which is why the details that came out later surprised everyone. but for now, rusty's grief stricken friends and family wanted answers. answers that seemed to be taking a long time in coming. de kalb county district attorney robert james. >> no one had any idea who did this when it happened. >> reporter: for weeks after rusty's death police had been floundering trying to untangle rusty's business relationships. suspicious that he'd been gunned down by a professional hit man,
they were looking for a money trail to lead them to his killer. chasing the money trail, did it cost you a lot of investigative hours and time? >> it cost us thousands of investigurivhoe s .d hotime >> reporter: as it turned out, this crime wouldn't be solved by following the money. it would be solved by following the shooter's minivan, a vehicle that had been caught on the parking lot security cameras. weeks after rusty had been shot, investigators tracked the van to this rental agency, and then contacted the man who had rented it the day before the shooting. his identity would blow the investigation wide open. the man told them not only that, yes, he was the person who had rented the minivan, what's more, he said he was andrea sneiderman's boss. rusty's widow worked for this guy. was he the person in the police artist's sketch? did andrea sneiderman's supervisor from work kill her husband? the boss was a man named hemy neuman. a 48-year-old middle management supervisor at general electric's
energy division in georgia. at ge he was in charge of a multibillion dollar budget and thousands of employees including his hire in april of 2010, andrea sneiderman. police asked neuman to come down to the station for an interview. it turned into a 5 1/2-hour interrogation. hemy neuman appeared nervous and told the interviewers repeatedly that he'd been at work the day of the shooting. >> i was not there. i did not pull the trigger on the gun that shot sneiderman, rusty sneiderman. >> reporter: the cops sweated him. >> don't raise your eyebrows. i'm telling you. you were there when rusty got shot. >> reporter: a few hours into the interview, it looked as though hemy might have something to tell police. >> you're this close to telling me. >> telling you what? >> tell me why this all happened. >> reporter: but then he shut down.
even so, detectives thought they had enough evidence linking him to the crime. they arrested him and charged him with murder. then an amazing turn of events. after his steadfast denials, the engineer admitted that, yes, he was the shooter, but he said he was not guilty of the crime because he'd been insane when he pulled the trigger. a little more than a year after his arrest, hemy neuman's trial for murder began. and the prosecutor argued that his insanity plea was preposterous. the case against him was a simple one of lust and greed, the prosecutor argued, during the three-week trial. hemy neuman had just one prize in his sights, rusty's wife. >> hemy neuman killed rusty sneiderman because he wanted his wife, because he wanted his money, because he wanted his life. period. >> reporter: and, according to the prosecutor, the evidence would show that hemy knew exactly what he needed to do to accomplish that goal.
far from being crazy, the prosecutor said, he tried to plan the perfect murder. just five months after hiring rusty's wife, hemy, the prosecutor said, started researching guns and gun shows on the internet. and around halloween of 2010, hemy neuman made his purchase. >> he told me that it was just for protection, household protection. >> reporter: neuman bought a .40 caliber handgun along with 50 hollow point bullets for $375 cash from this man. the transaction took place in a parking lot. >> he seemed like he didn't know much about guns, but he was interested in learning. >> reporter: within days, um was at a gun range blasting away for 40 minutes at a man-shaped target. nine days later he put on a disguise and crept into the sneidermans' yard. rusty spotted him and dialed 911. >> he's running. i think he has a gun in his back pocket.
>> reporter: was this a practice run or an aborted murder attempt? neuman had bolted when rusty confronted him. still he was back on the computer a few days later, this time searching for a local costume store, looking for another disguise. then the prosecutors asserted the final countdown to murder began. 2:30 in the afternoon of november 17th, neuman rented a silver kia minivan. the desk clerk remembered him. >> he was in a hurry and he was very impatient. >> reporter: just after 5:30 in the morning, november 18th, a security camera recorded the silver minivan pulling into the parking garage on the ge campus. the camera then caught neuman walking up the stairs. he was headed to his office where he logged on to his computer and left his cell phone on the desk. was he trying to create an alibi? next, hemy neuman got back in his car. he was on the move. a few hours later, surveillance video across town picked up his trail driving into the parking lot of the suburban atlanta
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day after day in court marilyn and don sneiderman sat just feet from the man who had slain their son. the one who had stolen away their family's peace. >> i saw a man with no reaction to anything. and i thought to myself, how can that man sleep at night? >> he is just a little weakling of a man, a little worm. i mean, just a nothing. >> reporter: andrea, rusty's widow, sat two rows ahead of rusty's parents. what andrea did and didn't know leading up to the crime would soon become a major focus of the trial. but now, as she listened to the prosecutor detail rusty's last moments, she could hardly
contain her tears. the prosecutor described the killer walking up to rusty. he didn't hesitate. >> and he shoots him three times. as rusty falls in the parking lot that cold november morning, dying, the defendant's not satisfied. he walks up and he puts the .40 caliber hollow point to rusty's neck, to his jugular and fires one last time. >> reporter: this is a brazen, outrageous crime. >> it was broad daylight, brazen, reckless abandon. rusty sneiderman was shot perhaps about 30 feet from where children were playing. >> reporter: a husband and wife testified they came running when they heard the sound. >> i went up to the victim. that's when i noticed that he was bleeding out. >> i saw him like gasping for air, and i wish i would have started cpr right there. but we were in so much shock. >> my name is rusty sneiderman. >> reporter: rusty had been best man at josh gollub's wedding. he said he found it hard to hear testimony about the medical
details of his friend's last moments. >> it was the fourth and final shot. that's the one that went through his neck, through his spine, through his spinal cord and not only, you know, paralyzed him, but -- >> reporter: he was dead at that moment? >> yeah. that's one of the hardest things for me to see. >> reporter: after delivering the kill shot, witnesses testified that neuman calmly walked back to his minivan and melted into morning traffic. within hours he was back at his desk, observed juggling routine meetings. what did he expect to happen next? the prosecution had explained how the murder had been plotted out, but now they wanted the jury to understand why. rusty was the last person standing between hemy neuman and the woman he loved, andrea sneiderman. >> on november 18th, 2010, did you know the defendant? >> yes. >> reporter: andrea offered juicy testimony for the jury to ponder. she testified that the accused hemy neuman had become obsessed with her weeks after she started
working for him in april 2010, that he had stalked her and her family, she said, and finally gunned down her husband. the unwelcome courtship began at ge, she said, about six months before the shooting. >> how much time would you spend with him on a regular basis? >> there were meetings every other day, constant e-mail communications about work and projects, constant phone calls. we spoke about work things constantly. >> reporter: hemy neuman quickly became a fixture in her life. >> extremely friendly individual, caring or pretending to be a very caring individual. >> reporter: but one night during a business trip to lake tahoe, she testified, hemy neuman stepped over the line. >> did the defendant ever express his feelings for you? >> yes. >> reporter: outside a restaurant before they had dinner together, he read her a poem. >> the insinuation of the poem
to me was that he had deeper feelings for me than just friends. >> reporter: she says her boss confided in her that he was unhappy in his marriage and was thinking of moving out on his wife of 22 years, but rusty sneiderman's wife said she made her position clear. >> none of those feelings were ever returned, and i made myself completely clear where i stood. >> reporter: hemy got the message, andrea said, at least for a while. and when hemy wasn't being inappropriate, she said he was a good friend. >> i admit to caring about hemy neuman. he managed to get me to care about him. and that's actually the point. he was very good at that. very good at manipulating everyone around him to feel bad for him. >> reporter: with rusty launching a company from the ground up, andrea said she felt she had to hold down her steady paycheck. she told the jury that she walked the tightrope the best she could. >> given the situation that i was in and that he was my boss,
i handled them all with care and did the best i could to keep him at bay. >> reporter: did you ever report the defendant's contact to anybody at ge? >> no. >> reporter: why not? >> i would have been fired. >> i'm sorry, i didn't hear your response. >> i would have been fired. >> reporter: andrea kept hemy's advances to herself for the good of her family, she told the court. but now the prosecutor wondered this. the police artist sketch released days after the shooting bore a striking resemblance to her boss. why hadn't she demanded that police focus their investigation on hemy? what was she hiding? >> when we come back, some pointed questions for the widow. >> did you wake up together in denver, in tahoe? >> no. >> was there an affair? >> they were groping each other. >> did you see the parties kiss? >> yes, i did.
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he pretended to be my friend, and i was doing the best that i can to deal with that situation, and he had my whole life wrapped up. >> reporter: jurors had heard a harrowing tale from rusty sneiderman's widow of a monster of a boss who became obsessed with his new hire andrea, stalking her and catastrophically ripping her life apart by snuffing out her husband's. but then the prosecution was suggesting that the toxic triangle between boss, employee
and husband was even more complicated than it seemed and that the wife andrea was holding back important details of her story. prosecutor don gehry. but there was this kind of watergate question, what did she know and when did she know it? >> we knew she was lying. we told her we knew she was lying, and that didn't seem to affect her. so we knew what we had to do on the stand and we simply did it. >> reporter: in court hemy neuman was the accused, but at times it looked as though andrea was on trial, too. the prosecution suggested that andrea had been a willing partner not only in the relationship but possibly in the murder itself. hemy could not be insane if he'd been conspiring to kill rusty. >> think about it, be with me forever. would that be normal communication between your boss and you? >> reporter: the victim's widow was aggressively questioned by the prosecution about business trips with her boss that looked like a series of trysts in hotel rooms with him here and abroad.
a week after that trip to lake tahoe when hemy read andrea a love poem, he joined her in longmont, colorado. >> did you pick the defendant up at the airport? >> yes. >> did you take him back to longmont with you? >> yes. >> did you and the defendant share a room in longmont? >> no. >> reporter: she denied she spent the night together in colorado, but workers at the hotel remember a change of rooms. >> our records do show that andrea sneiderman during her stay switched from a room of two beds and one person to a room with one bed and two people. >> reporter: a month later in august something happened on a trip they took together to south carolina. something that andrea felt she had to repent for. she read aloud in court what she wrote hemy in an e-mail. >> your apology is heartfelt, but does not make the ongoing pain go away that i now have. >> reporter: what happened in greenville?
>> we were holding each other's hands and that's it. it may sound worse than it is, but to me that was a betrayal. >> reporter: so you're repenting in the e-mail at least from holding his hand? >> yep. >> reporter: but the work trips together continued and the emotionally charged e-mails intensified. hemy wrote her words like, marry me, i love you, and this -- >> betrayal and anger is not about what you parenthesis we did. that's a copout, it's about how you felt what you wanted. how you felt when we looked at the stars in tahoe when we woke up friday morning in denver when you took my hand and nestled your head on my shoulder. did that happen? >> did what happen? >> did you wake up together in dulg have you been accidents --?
>> no. >> reporter: she may not have known it but hemy was confiding in a real estate agent friend named melanie white. >> he would be excited because the e-mail had a smiley face at the end of it. >> reporter: he shared with her all the messages he received from andrea. in her eyes she wasn't pushing him away at all. >> what i saw was that andrea wanted hemy and would lead him on, going out of town with him, holding hands with him and eventually, from what i'm told from hemy, actually having sex with him. >> reporter: on the stand, andrea was adamant that a trip she and hemy took to england in september was strictly business. even though their itinerary included plans to see a play and hit a nightclub. >> we did not go to a dance club. in fact, we did not do any of the things that are insinuated that we did on that itinerary. >> reporter: but jurors heard evidence that andrea and hemy did go dancing on their last trip together to greenville, south carolina. a month before rusty sneiderman
was killed. the bar maid at a dance club testified that she saw public displays of affection that would have justified the taunt of "get a room." >> he kept spinning her around. they were groping each other. >> did you see the parties kiss? >> yes, i did. >> how many times did they kiss? >> i would say about three times. >> did you see the female push the male away? >> no. and on one occasion she actually kissed him. >> reporter: andrea denied the bar maid's account. >> did you kiss him or did he kiss you? >> no. >> in this case when you're talking about alleged affairs and someone else's husband being murdered, i think people tend to think they saw a lot of things. >> reporter: andrea denied all the innuendo, sharing rooms, groping one another on the dance floor. she said she never had sex with hemy neuman, a claim she repeated when her best friend shana confronted her about hey y
after rusty's funeral. >> did andrea admit or deny the affair with you at that time? >> she denied it. >> based on all the time you knew andrea, when she told you no, did you believe her? >> no, but my heart really wanted to believe her. >> did she make a comment about if she wasn't married? >> yes. maybe if she was not married, she would have been interested. however, she loved her husband and was not interested. >> reporter: that statement echoed something hemy had told his friend. >> what did he tell you about the london trip? >> that he and andrea got closer. he and andrea had decided that they were soulmates. he also told me that andrea was adamant that she would not leave her husband and two kids. >> reporter: andrea was interested in hemy but would not leave her husband. that's the message she was sending her boss, the defense argued. and the defense promised to prove to the jury that the inner turmoil, these mixed signals
stirred up in hemy neuman was enough to push this mild mannered but troubled man over the edge and into the realm of legal insanity. coming up -- >> i've been kicked, i've been slapped, i've been whipped. and those things, you don't forget. >> haunting secrets from hemy's past. and a question, did celebrity voices drive him to kill? a strange tale gets even stranger. when "dateline" continues. [ alarm buzzes ] [ female announcer ] wake up time,
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whose boss kills someone else's husband? i don't care affair, no affair, there was no affair. who kills someone else's husband? >> reporter: hemy neuman was a killer. that's what the prosecutor told the jury, that's what his alleged mistress told the jury. even hemy neuman himself said he did it, a police detective testified. >> he admits to the shooting, correct? >> yes. >> reporter: but hemy neuman's defense attorney said their client shouldn't go to prison because the 48-year-old engineer, outwardly so calm and rational, had one more secret to confess. he had been tormented by demons since he was a boy. defense attorney bob rubin. >> mr. neuman's problems really began years ago, and they went undiagnosed over the course of his lifetime. and as a result he got progressively worse.
>> reporter: and the defense made a bold allegation to the jury that hemy's violent act against rusty was triggered by none other than rusty's wife andrea. >> she had planted the seed, she had stoked the fire, and she knew that what she set out to do with somebody who is sick, that she had accomplished. >> reporter: his psyche was so fragile, the defense argued, that it hadn't taken much from andrea to send hemy over the edge. and if the defense team could prove hemy neuman was not guilty by reason of insanity, that he didn't know right from wrong when he pulled the trigger, there was a chance he would escape prison if not a hospital bed in a psychiatric unit. their first witness was hemy's younger sister monique. she painted a picture for the jury of hemy's painful childhood. >> monique, would you describe for the jury your household at 6:00 in the evening when your
father was coming home. >> anxiety. >> reporter: monique explained that their father, a violent and alcoholic man, had beaten both children savagely. >> i've been kicked, i've been slapped, i've been whipped. and those things you don't forget. >> reporter: and monique said hemy took the worst of the beatings. >> my brother got up, went to get a bowl of ice cream, and before we knew it, the bowl of ice cream went flying, hemy was getting slapped, and it just kept going and going and going. >> reporter: but it was at boarding school that hemy had experienced his first delusion, this defense expert testified, a demon. >> he described the demon as much bigger than him. he said that when he felt and saw this demon, he felt anguish. deep pain.
>> reporter: by the time andrea met him hemy neuman had a history of breakdowns. and he was teetering on the edge of having another one, according to his defense. hemy's fascination with andrea began as a fantasy according to the mental health experts, something to help him escape his troubled life. but they say that that workplace infatuation soon became something much darker. hemy's confidant, melanie white testified that it looked to her as though andrea would wind hemy up, turning hot, then cold. >> she treated him like a yo-yo. i mean, she would have him all the way up at the top, you know, just saying that this is the greatest and we're soulmates and having a great time out of town, then coming back in town and texting him and saying, we can only have a business relationship, we can no longer do this. >> reporter: defense expert dr. adriana flores said this yo-yo effect strengthened the delusions hemy was having and, said the defense, in this altered state he would listen to andrea complain about rusty, how
the children were shying away from him. >> their conversations was saturated with discussions of the children, saturated with andrea sneiderman's complaints about her relationship with her husband. >> reporter: hemy thought something needed to be done, said his defense. especially when the demon, an apparition from his childhood returned. he described it in this jailhouse interview. >> when you say big, how big? >> not as high as a human but almost towering over me. >> reporter: the delusion took a surprising form. a demon appeared before him and he sounded like barry white. he also said he saw an angel that sounded like olivia newton-john. the angel's message?
it was as out there as the vision itself. according to hemy neuman the angel assigned him a deadly mission. andrea's children, the angel told him, were at risk from rusty sneiderman and it was hemy's duty to kill rusty to eliminate that threat. >> he thought he was doing the right thing because he thought he was saving those children from the same kind of trauma that he had. >> reporter: but the prosecution painted a very different picture of hemy neuman. you're saying he's faking it, he's running a number on you. >> without question. he was probably the smartest person in that courtroom. >> reporter: the prosecutor told the jury that hemy had lied about his hallucinations to try and get away with murder. and that the defense experts had fallen for it. >> and if he lied to you about that delusion, then everything in your report's off the table, correct? you're wrong. >> that is correct. >> reporter: the prosecutor called a parade of witnesses to the stand. hemy's work colleagues who had seen him every day. >> did you ever see anything
that made you question his mental stability? >> no, not at all. >> have you ever observed him when you thought he was hallucinating? >> no. >> reporter: according to the prosecution's own witness it would have been impossible for him to have covered up such a serious mental illness. >> there is going to be some evidence somewhere of a marked impairment. >> reporter: nor would someone so unstable have been able to methodically plot out not only the crime but the covering of his tracks as hemy did. >> this was just another project for him. >> reporter: i got a problem, i'm going to approach this like an engineer? how do i resolve the problem? >> he mathematically solved his problem. >> reporter: during that jailhouse interview, hemy explained to the prosecution psychiatrist. >> i'm a great, great executioner. i mean, if plan it, it's going to happen.
>> reporter: but amid all the expert witness testimony over several days describing he hemyneuman's mental health, something caught the attention of the prosecution. >> if there is evidence that this is in fact a plan by andrea and the defendant to get rid of rusty so they could be together, then everything he told you would be wrong and you would be wrong, wouldn't you? >> if i knew that they had corroborated together, yes, that would change my opinion. >> reporter: this was the first time in hemy neuman's trial that a direct reference was made to a potential plot between the shooter and the victim's widow. what did andrea sneiderman know and when? coming up -- >> we the jury -- >> jurors render their verdict. but one question still lingers. is this case closed? >> are you as the d.a. going to seek an arrest warrant for andrea
each and every one of us for a fool. >> investigators had harbored doubts about the grieving widow as soon as they had their suspect, pushing hemy neuman during his interrogation to see if he'd give her up as his accomplice. >> i think this was the plan. i think it's beyond you. i think it includes someone else. >> reporter: the idea that andrea sneiderman wasn't just a passive bystander to her husband's shooting, but that she had been in on it was a theory pushed hard by both the prosecution and the defense. >> i'm crying a lot. >> reporter: an eyewitness testified that even after rusty's body was whisked away in an ambulance, she, a perfect stranger, was weeping at the scene, but the wife when she arrived, not so much. >> she didn't have like a tear in her eye. i told the detectives that as well. >> reporter: andrea had testified that when she arrived at the scene that morning, she'd been told only that rusty had been involved in an accident, not that he'd been shot. >> i didn't know what happened to rusty until i got to the emergency room. >> reporter: but listen to what both her father-in-law and her friend said andrea told them
before she got to the hospital. >> andrea called us, and she called and said, rusty had been shot, and she was so, so sorry. >> she immediately at the same time was screaming to me that rusty had been shot. >> reporter: how had andrea known that fact that rusty had been shot if no one had told her yet? and perhaps most perplexing of all, within minutes of being told something had happened to rusty, andrea had dialed and redialed her boss. but her husband who she believed had been in an accident. >> how many times did you call rusty? >> call rusty? >> call rusty. >> zero times. >> reporter: and the jurors heard a tape of andrea being told six weeks after her husband was shot that police had made an arrest. >> we made an arrest in the case. >> are you serious? >> we have. >> reporter: did andrea know before who the shooter was?
according to a friend, andrea had confided in her that she thought hemy neuman resembled the police sketch. if she had any suspicion hemy was involved, why hadn't she told police? >> she kept seeing hemy's face in that -- those sketches, is that correct? >> not the face. the eyes is what she said. >> reporter: and those drawings were published certainly no more than two days after rusty was shot, is that correct? >> i guess so. >> reporter: andrea hugged her best friend shana as she got off the stand, but once the two women were in the hallway out of the view of the cameras and the jurors, andrea reportedly threatened her. the best friend's lawyer says he overheard the confrontation. >> andrea tells her, i understand why you did what you did, but now you're going to have to live with what i'm going to do. >> reporter: the trial judge banned andrea sneiderman from the courthouse for the remainder of the trial.
but what motive could andrea sneiderman possibly have had for any of this? investigators learned she had collected $2 million in life insurance after rusty's death, but would that really compensate her for rusty's lifetime of earnings? was murder the only way out of a marriage that maybe wasn't as solid as friends thought? but a close friend says andrea was a victim in that courtroom. >> she's gotten caught in the middle of this crossfire between hemy and the prosecutors, and it's really unfortunate. >> reporter: jeffrey moss, who first knew andreas a rusty's college girlfriend, then watched them start a life together and a family doesn't believe andrea had anything to do with the murder. >> it goes against everything i know about andrea and her morals and her behaviors and her personality. >> reporter: during closing arguments the focus was on andrea sneiderman again. had she manipulated the unstable hemy neuman into killing her husband, as the defense contended?
>> the gun in this case was in hemy's hand. but the trigger, i respectfully suggest, was pulled by andrea sneiderman. >> if he and andrea -- >> reporter: or as the prosecution argued, was neuman trying to hide behind a fabricated mental illness to avoid answering for a murder plot that he concocted with his lover? >> which is more likely, an imaginary being -- i see dead people, they're telling me to kill people -- or the woman who stood to gain $2 million and he did, too? he's not crazy, he's a co-conspirator. >> reporter: on the third day of deliberations, the jury announced it had a verdict. andrea was not in the courtroom to hear it. >> we the jury find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but mentally ill. >> reporter: the jury foreperson told "dateline" that the jury believed that hemy was mentally
ill but nonetheless should go to prison. >> we were all very passionate that we were not going to be comfortable with hemy neuman thinking that he could actually walk. >> reporter: was there discussion of where is andrea sneiderman? why are we not talking about her? >> for us it was, still, this is not about andrea sneiderman. if there was an affair, that's between andrea sneiderman and hemy neuman. >> reporter: before imposing sentence, the judge heard from rusty's killer. hemy neuman's statement was brief. >> i am so, so, so sorry. i am sorry from the deepest part of me, your honor. >> reporter: and then it was over for the disgraced business executive. neuman was led away after the judge sentenced him to spend the rest of his life in prison. andrea sneiderman denies having anything to do with the murder. and in a written statement issued after the verdict said
she is grateful to the jurors and felt justice had finally been done for rusty. rusty's elder brother wasn't so sure. >> i struggled with this, i struggled with how you feel after this. i mean, you know, unless rusty walked back in the courtroom, it's always going to be hollow. >> reporter: he wonders whether andrea should be investigated. the district attorney isn't ruling anything out. are you as the d.a. going to seek an arrest warrant for andrea sneiderman? >> i can't answer that right now. my only motive is justice, so i will look at the facts and we'll do what the evidence requires and what justice requires. >> reporter: rusty's brother steve says he's prepared to wait. >> i mean, one of the things that haunts me every day is am i doing enough? because i know that rusty -- rusty would never rest until he got all the answers. and so i have to do for rusty what rusty would have done for me. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline" friday.
i'm lester holt. night.l of us at nbc news, good this morning, a $2 billion blunder. the nation's biggest bank, jpmorgan, lost big on a risky trading bet. raising new questions and fears about whether wall street has changed at all since the financial collapse. how did this happen? and will it give new ammunition to washington regulators who want to change the way big banks work? this morning, my exclusive interview with the man at the center of the storm, the bank's ceo, jamie dimon, who also talks about the economy and the 2012 campaign. plus, reaction and prospective from andrew ross sorkin of "the new york times" and cnbc as well as senator carl levin who is spearheading financial reform on capitol hill. then the gay marriage debate. it all started here last sunday with vice president biden.
>> i am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marry men, women marry women, and heterosexual -- men and women marrying one another, are entitled to the same exact rights. >> as you know, within days, the president changed his own view, making history and headlines. the big questions now, has anything changed? and how will the president's support for gay marriage impact the presidential race? with us, chairman of the republican party, reince priebus. an analysis from our roundtable. msnbc's chris matthews. from "the washington post," jonathan capehart and columnist kathleen parker. democratic lieutenant governor of california, gavin newsom. from the american conservative union, al cardins. >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, meet the per